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As a Pastor I get asked about the definition of “love” all the time. Is it real? How do I know if I’m in love? What are the boundaries of love? How do I know if I really love this person? All are very good questions. So, I fall back on the tried and trusted knowledge from 33 years of marriage and thousands of counseling sessions.

Go through something desperate, trying or terrible, if that person stays with you, then it’s usually love; if they leave, then it’s usually lust or convenience. When the chips are down, that’s when you find out what you and your partner are made of. So, here is a pretty good estimation of my definition of love:

Love is patient, love is kind, love does not envy; it is not boastful, it is not conceited; it does not act improperly; it is not selfish, it does not provoke, and keeps no record of wrongs. It does not leave when things get hard, it is not self-serving, wicked or hurtful. It does not cheat, lie, steal or covet. Love does not have affairs, nor does it quit because things get hard. Love finds no joy in unhealthy behavior, and it never leaves anyone behind. Love tells the truth, not to hurt, but rather to help. It never condemns, but it will convict. Love will deal with whatever it finds itself in, good or bad, and hopes for the best as it is building. It endures, through the ages and helps in all things Love does not judge. Love understands, but is not stupid. Love demands itself back. LOVE NEVER FAILS OR ENDS! 

We are all supposed to walk in love but still keep our eyes open and not be stupid or fooled. Pay attention to your mates body language, see their eyes, their attitude, most of the time that still small voice inside you knows the deal, so pay attention to it. Love comes in all forms. The Greeks even have four separate words for LOVE, it’s that important. I really like the quote, “To thine own self be true” because if you know yourself, where you stand and who you are, then it will become obvious who and what you’re dealing with as time goes by.

If you are always being judged or your partner always finds fault with what you do (or how you do it), that’s not love! If there is always a stipulation attached to receiving that conditional love in return, that’s not love! Love has no strings attached, it’s a free gift. You can’t earn it. You don’t need to be good enough. You can’t buy it, it has to be freely given and freely received.

Love does not place blame. It does not find things wrong all the time, and it doesn’t go looking elsewhere for itself; it stays and works things out. If your partner is always threatening to leave, let them. It isn’t love, if your partner is always finding problems, so just let them go. It isn’t normal to always find fault. Love always has the best intentions, and love will act accordingly.

If you need to talk to someone, please call our office at (570) 576-7979.

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